I’m Not Dead Yet!

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notdeadyet.jpgI’m getting better! I feel happy! Happy!

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s obviously been too long since you saw Monty Python and the Holy Grail, so if you need a little reminder, you can check out Scene 2 on YouTube.

Anyway, it’s been much too long since I posted here. Why? Well, I’ll tell you…

(He’s going to tell… He’s going to tell… He’s going to tell… He’s going to tell…)

I promise you there’s a LinkedIn tie-in somewhere here. 🙂

The fact of the matter is that I’ve just been insanely busy with client work. Luckily for me, I’m not actually obligated to x number of postings per week until such time as I go live on the b5 network, so I’ve been able to get away with it, sort of.

Of course, I know it has consequences. I know I lose some readership – certainly temporarily, maybe permanently.

But here’s the thing… taking care of your existing customers is the most important networking you can do. So is taking care of your employees and your existing partnerships. So is taking care of your family relationships. Networking comes after all that. Blogging (assuming no one’s paying you to blog) comes after all that.

If you don’t meet or exceed the expectations of your current customers and partners, you don’t have a leg to stand on when you go out to network. If you don’t take care of your employees and partners — the people who help make you successful on a daily basis — you won’t have the business there to go out and network for. If your family relationships suffer because you’re spending too much time online or you’re out at networking events several nights a week, then you have your priorities mixed up.

Successful people have work to do, and for only a very rare few is networking truly their primary work. The rest of us have papers to write, marketing campaigns to develop, products to create and expectations to meet.

Don’t be afraid to tell people you’re too busy, or even to selectively ignore them. If they can’t understand that it’s not a reflection on them, but a reflection of what’s going on in your business right at that moment, that’s a relationship you don’t need!

And if you ever think you’re getting the cold shoulder from someone, don’t take it personally — if they’re “too busy for you”, that may very well be a good thing for them. Wish them well and tell them you’ll talk to them when things settle down a bit.

Anyway, you should start seeing me around a little more often as things settle down for me with my other obligations, so stay tuned!

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4 Comments

  1. Scott, good to see you back :p I’m glad to hear that this month has kept you so busy in a good way.

    I’d like to chime in on something you say here – I agree with everything with one semantics change.

    I think that “formal networking” or “formal networking events” fall into the priority that you list. But I’m not sure if you can say “networking” falls in that priority. Networking is relationships. Its saying hi, thanks, or replying to an e-mail.

    I used to go to all the on-site networking events that I could, and then work got busy (yahoo!). Now I “drop in” occassionally. But I haven’t stopped networking. I still have relationships that I feed, nurture or pursue.

    What do you think?

  2. Well, depending on how you define “networking”, it never really stops. Taking good care of your customers IS good networking — some of the most effective you can do, I contend. Who better to refer you business than someone who’s more than satisfied with your work.

    Ideally, you follow up with just about everyone who contacts you within 48-72 hours. I long ago gave up on that ideal. If you’re in sales, maybe. If you’re a high-end professional speaker who makes your living from doing a small number of $10-$20K gigs a year, plus product licensing, maybe. But if you’re a mid-range consultant, making your living from per-project or hourly consulting, plus you have to market, sell and manage client relationships on top of that, it may not be very realistic.

    That doesn’t mean I completely stop talking to people — I just don’t spend much time talking to people unless it’s related to a specific project. The best networking is when you’re actually working together towards a common goal, not just talking. And if that’s completely filling your day, then you may not have time for what some people think of as “networking”, even though you’re doing the best business relationship building there is.

  3. Scott,

    This is my new personal favorite blog post that I’ve read recently for 2 reasons.

    1) You quoted one of my favorite lines from my favorite movie.

    2) You made me feel not so about about not posting to my blog nearly as frequently as I’d like to because of my committment to professional and family obligations.

    Happy Networking!

  4. Thanks for the posting. I used to feel like something was wrong with me because I never felt “in balance” in all my roles in life (especially when the kids were younger). Now (with a few more years of personal seasoning), I know there’s always going to be an ebb & flow in our various roles in life. In other words, imbalance is the natural order. (And, yes, I’ve got to see Monty Python and the Holy Grail again, it’s been far too long!)

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